Bella Vista title gives Vikings a boost
If South Tahoe High boys’ cross country runners were in need of a confidence boost, the Bella Vista Invitational gave it to them on Saturday in Rocklin, Calif.
The Vikings outran the California Interscholastic Federation’s second-ranked Division III team to win the small schools’ title.
“For us to beat them is a shock considering we didn’t run our best,” said STHS coach Dominique Westlake, who was missing Alex Sharp, the team’s second- to fifth-best runner depending on the meet.
Tyler Rieger, in part, helped the Vikings beat Oakmont by 14 points, 32 to 46. The Vikings’ eighth man ran the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 10 seconds to finish fifth among team members and 24th overall.
“Tyler ran the race of his life,” Westlake said. “He usually runs around 19:00 and he was 25 seconds behind my fourth man, which is really good.”
Leading the Vikings was Chris Cosmi, who was 14th in 17:34. Hudson Wilvers was 16th at 17:41 and was closely followed by Brian Kurek in 17th at 17:42. Rounding out the Vikings’ top eight runners were Kyle Sullivan, 18th, 17:44; Rieger; Sean Pawling, 39th, 18:34; and Zach Powers, 52nd, 18:58.
Reno’s Jonathon Cardenas reset the course record at 16:01.
The Vikings will compete for the final time before regionals when they host the South Tahoe Relays on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The entire Northern Nevada League is expected to attend, although Reno’s top two runners will competing elsewhere.
Westlake may sit some of his top runners, allowing them time to rest before regionals Nov. 1 at Rancho Park in Reno.
“Hudson may or may not race because his allergies have kicked in. If I do race him, how much do I hurt his chances the following week?” Westlake said. “I will race who is healthy.”
Westlake believes his Vikings are gaining on Reno and Galena, but realizes it will take some lifetimes bests to knock off the favorites at zone.
“It depends how hard they are willing to run and how much they are willing to hurt,” he said.
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